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Latest news archive

Items from January to June 2011 appear on this page

Items from previous years have been archived, but can still be accessed by clicking the links below:
| Jan - Jun 2008 | Jul - Aug 2008 | Sep - Nov 2008 | Jan - June 2009 | July - Nov 2009 | Feb - June 2010 | Jul - Dec 2010 | July - Dec 2011 | Jan - June 2012 | July - Sep 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

30/06/2011 Garden Tiger moth (J Wilde)Julie Wilde recorded this Garden Tiger moth in her garden at Killen on the Black Isle.

Dark Green Fritillary (B Slater)6 Ringlet counted at Portknockie (NJ 491 687), also 4 Meadow Brown along cliff-tops further east. Still some Small Blues on wing. Common Blues, mostly males, in small numbers. 1 Dark Green Fritillary at NJ 495 682. Also a July Belle at NJ 494 687.

More from Portknockie, George Mair reports 2 Red Admirals in his garden, NJ 492 684.

27/06/2011 Thanks to Jane Bowman for sending these photos of Welsh Clearwing (left) and Large Red-belted Clearwing.

Large Red-belted Clearwing (J Bowman)Wels Clearwing (J Bowman)The Large Red-belted Clearwing is a new species to Jane's Glen Moriston garden, spotted on 3rd June lurking around the stump of a Lodge Pole Pine she'd sawn down the previous day.

Jane 'lured' the Welsh Clearwing today at Dundreggan, just 5 minutes after hanging the lure from a birch tree she'd suspected of harbouring Welsh Clearwings. A cloudy day but fairly warm.

19/06/2011 Black Mountain Moth (Ewan Munro)Ewan Munro recorded at least 4 Black Mountain Moths at A'Mhaighdean in Fisherfield.

Plutella porrectella (Nigel Richards)Nigel Richards caught this micro moth, Plutella porrectella, at his garden trap in Kildary, another new species record for VC106.

Please click on the image to enlarge it.


Ringlet (M Hind)First Ringlet reported to this website this year by Martin Hind, Easter Ross Ranger - seen at Talich Wood SSSI, near Fearn.

Mrs M Robertson reported a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth nectaring at honeysuckle in a Kingussie garden.

Also, the children of Knockbreck Primary School found this caterpillar, which turns out to be the caterpillar of the Light Emerald moth, identifiable from the fringe of hairs underneath.

Light Emerald moth caterpillar (M Hind)Thanks to Roy Leverton for identifying the caterpillar.

Please click on the lower image to enlarge.

12/06/2011 Tony Mainwood recorded 6 Northern Brown Argus at Rogart, SE Sutherland, today. Thanks to Tony for the photos.
  Northern Brown Argus, undersides, at Rogart (T Mainwood)Northern Brown Argus at Rogart (Tony Mainwood)
11/06/2011 Broken-barred Carpet (N Richards)Thanks to Nigel Richards for sending this photo of form albocrenata Curtis or effusaria Staudinger of Broken-barred Carpet, taken in Kildary today.
06/06/2011 George Mair recorded a Hummingbird Hawkmoth nectaring on Dianthus, Portknockie, NJ 492 684.

Red-necked Footman (copyright 2011 David Whitaker)Thanks to David Whitaker for his record of a Red-necked Footman in a garden at Clunes today (NN 204 886), and for his permission to use this photo (Copyright © 2011 David Whitaker, Highland Wildlife Photography).

This is the first specimen that David has seen this far north. One was also recorded at Ariundle on 4th June (see report of Highland Branch field trip). Last year David saw one also at Loch Siel in Argyll.

*Copyright © 2011 David Whitaker, Highland Wildlife Photography

60+ Small Blues and 4 Large Whites at site near Portknockie village (NJ 491 687).

Also 20+ Small Blues and fully-grown Garden Tiger caterpillar near Tronach Head, NJ 477 685.


Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (T Mainwood)Highland Branch Field trip to Bogbuie Wood today successfully recorded one of its targer species - Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth.

Thanks to Tony Mainwood for the photo.


Tony and Helen Mainwood recorded 30 Small Blues on the Loch Fleet transect today. More than double the previous highest count of 14 on 3rd of June last year.

George Mair recorded a Painted Lady in his garden, Portknockie, NJ 492 684.

02/06/2011 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (T Mainwood)Tony Mainwood recorded at least 2 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries at Clynelish, Brora, today.
31/05/2011 Small Heath (T Mainwood)Tony Mainwood recorded his first Small Heath of the year at Rogart today.
30/05/2011 George Mair observed 2 male Common Blues at NJ 491 687 (Portknockie). Small Blues now in 'large numbers', same place.
29/05/2011 George Mair counted 4 Silver Y moths in his Portknockie garden.

Andy Scott recorded 20+ Small Blues at Kildary Gravel Quarry, Easter Ross - possibly a new site for this butterfly.

Corrine Allward reports a Small Copper from a neighbour's woodland in Duror, near Appin.


Small Blue (Helen Mainwood)Helen Mainwood walked the Littleferry (Golspie) transect today and saw her first Small Blues of the season - last year they weren't seen till the 31st May and before that not till June.

Thanks to Helen for the use of her photo.


Lunar Thorn (J Borwick)Janette Borwick photographed this Lunar Thorn, attracted to light at her home in Glen Borrodale, Ardnamurchan.

Other finds at light included a Green Carpet on 16th May, and a Brimstone Moth on 17th May.

09/05/2011 Small Blues! George Mair counted 8 at the site near the Bow Fiddle arch, Portknockie, NJ 491 687, today. Kidney Vetch in flower. George's previous earliest date for Small Blue at this site was 19/05/2010.
07/05/2011 Thanks to Mick Canham for his record of a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, nectaring on Aubretia in his Cawdor garden (NH864495) today.

Jane Bowman observed 5 Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoths nectaring on phlox in her Glen Moriston garden today, including the mating pair in the photo.

Many thanks to Jane for the use of her photos.

Please click on the images to enlarge them.

  Mating pair of Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoths (J Bowman)Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth (J Bowman)
04/05/2011 Report received of a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth at Laggan today.

P-bF site between Newtonmore and LagganOn a steep slope bordering the A86 between Newtonmore and Laggan, opposite Lochan Uvie, NN 674 958, there were 8 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 10 male Orange Tips and several 'whites' including 2 Small Whites counted.


Marcus Conway reports seeing Green Hairstreaks everywhere he stopped today, the best spot being on the road south out of Dulsie Bridge at NH 936 404.

Janette Borwick reports some Peacocks, Speckled Woods and lots of Orange Tips flying through her garden in Ardnamurchan. She also sent photographs of a Clouded Silver (below left) taken on 27th April, a Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (below middle) also on 27th April and a Clouded Border (below right) on 30th April.

Clouded Border (J Borwick)Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (J Borwick)Clouded Silver (J Borwick)
01/05/2011 At Culbin Forest, on the track from Wellhill Car Park towards Findhorn Bay between 11:00 and 12:00 there were approximately 30 Speckled Woods, 8 Peacocks, 6 Green-Veined Whites and 3 male Orange Tips.

Brian Neath recorded 3 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries on his Carr Brae (Dornie) transect today.

From South Uist John Kemp reports 2 Sweet Gale (below left) and a Shears (below right) on 30th April joined by a Scalloped Hazel, all between a 1-2 weeks early for this location.

  Shears (J Kemp)Sweet Gale (J Kemp)

Pearl-bordered Fritillary (T Mainwood)Tony Mainwood saw several Pearl-bordered Fritillaries at Rogart today. There were 4 above the quarry site and 14 at the Mound site (far more than he had seen before at the Mound). There were also 2 Speckled Woods at Spinningdale.

Marcus Conway saw several Orange Tips near Boath House, Nairn.

Moth trapping tonight produced Brian Neath's first April record of Scalloped Hook-tip as well as the first Small Phoenix, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Lunar Marbled Brown (below left) and Powdered Quaker (below right) of the year.

  Powdered Quaker (B Neath)Lunar Marbled Brown (B Neath)
28/04/2011 More early dates, this time from S Uist. Both of these moths are several weeks early for the island: Light Knot-grass (l) and Marbled Coronet (r). Thanks to John Kemp for these records and the use of his photos.
  Marbled Coronet (J Kemp)Light Knot-grass (J Kemp)

David Barbour reports seeing his first 2 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries in the Findhorn Valley, Nairnshire (NH 899402) today. According to records we have only ever had 4 or 5 sightings in April before (most in 2003, a freakishly early year). David also saw Green Hairstreaks in 8 different places

On a cycle run along the Caledonian Canal towpath between Tomnahurich and Dochgdarroch between 11:30 and 12:30, Green-veined Whites were the most numerous, followed by Small Tortoiseshells - about 10. Also 3 male Orange Tips and 1 Peacock. Sunny but cool breeze.


Thanks to Ewan Munro for reporting 6 Green Hairstreaks at two locations along tracks in Rothiemurchus Forest, and also 2 Water Carpets in Glen Einich.

In addition, Ewan had four species of butterfly in his Inverness garden - Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Orange-tip (the first he'd seen in his garden). In his moth trap on Wednesday night were 3 Least Black Arches and a Seraphim.

George Mair recorded 1 male and 2 female Orange Tips in the Bauds Wood, near Portknockie, NJ 840 660, and 1 Speckled Wood at NJ 483 658. Also lots of Small Tortoiseshell dispersed throughout the wood.


Walking in the north end of Aviemore, Audrey Turner saw around 7 Orange Tips.

Janette Borwick sent these photos of an Emperor Moth and Brown Silver-lines attracted to light at her home in Glen Borrodale, Ardnamurchan.

  Brown Silver-linesEmperor moth (J Borwick)
18/04/2011 Thanks to Ewan Munro for his report of 2 Least Black Arches in his light trap in his Inverness garden tonight.

Least Black Arches (Nigel Richards)Nigel Richards recorded this Least Black Arches near Kildary - not that common in this area and quite early.

Ewan Munro recorded 3 male Emperor Moths at Littlemill Forest near Daviot today.

Audrey Turner recorded an Orange Tip in her garden in Aviemore.



Green Hairstreak (B Slater)Today Brian Neath had a Green Hairstreak on his Carr Brae transect, his second best date for this butterfly.

On the moth front Brian had a Brown Silver-line at the windows on 13th April and an Early Thorn on 14th.

Nigel Richards recorded his first Orange Tip of the year at Tarbat Ness, Easter Ross.

George Mair recorded his first Peacock of the year at the Bauds Wood in the Portknockie/Cullen area.


Today Scott Shanks visited Millbuies Country Park near Fogwatt (NJ238566-NJ249573) and saw a further 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Peacocks, 3 Green-Veined Whites and a Red Admiral. Plus a further 3 Peacocks, 3 Small Whites and 2 Green-Veined Whites around his parents' garden (NJ216610). Pretty impressive with 7 species, since there have only been reports of 5 species so far in the SW Scotland branch area! (Scott is Butterfly Recorder for SW Scotland Branch.)

George Mair saw 3 Green-veined Whites near Bow Fiddle rock, Portknockie, NJ 492 687, this afternoon. Exceptionally warm.

Ewan Munro saw a Red Admiral in Culbin Forest (near the trig point by the Hill 99 tower, NH987623). Earlier in the day he saw two Small Tortoiseshells at Nairn beach. These were the first butterflies that Ewan had identified this year, though he saw the first one in his garden in Inverness on the 2nd April - but it didn't stay long enough for him to get a good look at it.

In another Inverness garden (NH 646 461) the first butterflies of the year were 2 Small Tortoiseshells.

Brian Neath saw his first Green-veined White of the season at Dornie today - a week earlier than his previous best date.

In his garden near Kildary, Nigel Richards had the following interesting species in his moth trap:

L-R Semioscopis steinkellneriana, Brindled Ochre, Small Quaker.

  Semioscopis steinkellneriana (Nigel Richards)Brindled Ochre (Nigel Richards)Small Quaker (Nigel Richards)

Nigel also saw several Garden Tiger larva (woolly bears) near Tarbat Ness lighthouse on the same day.

Herald (Janette Borwick)Also on 10th April, Janette Borwick found this splendid Herald at Glen Borrodale, Ardnamurchan. Other species from the area in recent nights included Streamer, Twenty-plume Moth and Autumn Green Carpet.


Brian Neath saw his first 2 Peacock butterflies today at Dornie today, the first warm sunny day of the month.

Audrey Turner also saw her first butterflies of the year today, 2 Small Tortoiseshells on the edge of Miltonwood, Aviemore. Her husband Bob also saw one on the main street through Aviemore, Grampian Road, today.

Marcus Conway saw 2 Small Tortoiseshells and 1 Peacock in his garden near Connage, Ardersier.

Scott Shanks, on a visit to Elgin over the weekend, also saw his butterfly of the year during a walk round the perimeter of Elgin golfcourse (NJ216610- NJ216597) -a Peacock, followed by a haul of other species including a further 5 Peacocks, 1 Large White, 3 Small Whites, 1 Green-Veined White, 5 Small Tortoiseshells and 1 (possibly 2) Speckled Wood!


Like Nigel Richards (see entry dated 02/04/11) Brian Neath (Dornie) had an extremely early Yellow-barred Brindle tonight. Although Waring and Townsend give May as the start of the flight season Brian's three previous records have also been in April but towards the end of the month (23rd to 28th).

Brian also reports that Brindled Pugs have been exceptionally numerous this year and in his catch on 08/04/11 he had at least 39 compared with the previous highest count of 23. They even outnumbered Hebrew Character, Common Quaker and Clouded Drab. A Brindled Ochre was his other highlight, his 9th spring record of this species all between 3rd and 21st April with only one autumn record in September. 167 moths of 15 species altogether.


The first Highland Branch field trip of the season took place at Sluggan, near Carrbridge, this evening. The target species was Rannoch Sprawler.

For a report of the field trip, please click here.


Early Grey (Nigel Richards)Nigel Richards had these two moths at lighted windows near Kildary.

Nigel thought the Early Grey (upper image) showed an exceptional pink flush, and the Yellow-barred Brindle was several weeks earlier than usual for here.

Please click on the images to enlarge them.


Yellow-barred Brindle (Nigel Richards)

02/04/2011 Small Tortoiseshells much in evidence in east Moray (Buckie - Cullen coastal area). No reports of Peacocks, though.
23/03/2011 Acleris rufana f.apiciana (John Kemp)Hot on the heels of John's early Narrow-winged Pug on S Uist was this Acleris rufana f.apiciana in the trap tonight. A first for the Outer Hebrides.
22/03/2011 Narrow-winged Pug (John Kemp)John Kemp, writing from S Uist, found this surprise in his trap tonight - a Narrow-winged Pug, a month earlier than normal. Thanks to John for his permission to use the photo.

Pete Moore recorded his first Orange Underwing of the year today in warm sunshine in the Dulnain Valley. Bob Turner also recorded one at Insh Marshes.

Please see March 'Moths of the Month' for a description and image of this species.


Janet Borwick photographed this Oak Beauty (below left) and pair of Common Quakers which came to light at Glen Borrodale, Ardnamurchan. Her list so far this season consists of Chestnut, Hebrew Character, Engrailed, Satellite, Mottled Grey, Early Tooth-striped, Oak Beauty, Common Quaker and Yellow Thorn.

  Common Quaker (J Borwick)Oak Beauty (Janet Borwick)

Nigel Richards ran his moth trap near Kildary tonight and caught 147 moths of 12 species, mostly Orthosia sp. but also Semioscopis avellanella (below left) and Acleris hastiana (below right), both quite distinctive micros. Thanks to Nigel for the records and photos.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

  Acleris hastiana (Nigel Richards)Semioscopis avellanella (Nigel Richards)

Red Sword-grass (Nigel Richards(Nigel Richards caught this Red Sword-grass near Kildary tonight.

See also the entry dated 06/03/11, which illustrates the scarcer Sword-grass caught in the same area.

17/03/2011 George Mair saw his first Small Tortoiseshell of the year at Portknockie, NJ 492 684.

Yellow Horned (Andy Law)Thanks to Brian Neath for sharing this photo of a Yellow Horned found at Kyle Rhea, Skye, by Andy Law. It is an extraordinarily dark specimen and amazingly only the second record of this species Brian has received for Skye, whereas it is quite common in Wester Ross.

Yellow Horned was also reported from Ullapool by Max and Sue Pittman on the 5th March.

Below Andy's photo is an image of a typical specimen attracted to Brian's Robinson trap on the 6th.

Yellow Horned (Brian Neath)See also the the entry below (3rd March) showing a Yellow Horned photographed indoors by Janette Borwick.

The Yellow Horned is also featured in March 'Moths of the Month'.


Sword-grass (Nigel Richards)Nigel Richards caught this Sword-grass in his trap near Kildary.

The Sword-grass is much scarcer than the Red Sword-grass - please see March "Moths of the Month" for an image of the two species.

Thanks to Nigel for this record and the use of his photo.


Brian Neath reports from Dornie that Mottled Grey has been the commonest moth there so far with 6 recorded on the 5th March.

5 March Moths on 28th February was his best count for that species but no more than two Dotted Border on any one date. Chestnut is another frequent moth here with 3 indoors on the 27th February. Brian's only trapping evening so far was disappointing with just March Moth, Mottled Grey and Pale Brindled Beauty.


Clouded Drab (Janette Borwick)Thanks to Janette Borwick for sending us this picture of a Yellow Horned moth, taken in her kitchen at Glen Borrodale, Ardnamurchan, this evening.

This example looks more brownish than the grey specimens usually encountered.

Please see March 'Moths of the Month' for a description of this species.

26/02/2011 Agonopteryx umbellana (Nigel Richards)Nigel Richards recorded another new species for VC106 in his garden near Kildary on 26 February, Agonopterix umbellana. Already this year, Nigel has recorded Early Moths in the same location (see entries dated 24 January and 10 February).
26/02/2011 Dotted Border (Tony Mainwood)Tony Mainwood trapped this Dotted Border at Loch Fleet NNR.
24/02/2011 Tony Mainwood reports 4 Pale Bordered Beauty, a Mottled Grey (left) and Pine Beauty (right) at Golspie. Thanks to Tony for the photos.
  Pine Beauty (Tony Mainwood)Mottled Grey (Tony Mainwood)

Early Moths (Nigel Richards)Nigel Richards has recorded another two Early Moths in his garden, near Kildary.

Could there be a small breeding poulation? Nigel intends to look for females / caterpillars on the hawthorn bushes in the spring.

31/01/2011 Pale Brindled Beauty (Tony Mainwood)Tony Mainwood recorded his first moths of the year at Golspie, SE Sutherland - 2 Pale Brindled Beauty.

Brian Neath (writing from Dornie) was surprised to see a March Moth at his windows last night (27th), especially with the temperature below 3 degrees. It is his first January record of this species which usually appears around Valentine's Day. He had his first Pale Brindled Beauty of the year on the 21st but hasn't seen any more since then.


Early Moth (Nigel Richards)Thanks to Nigel Richards for his report and photos of an Early Moth (male), the first recently confirmed record of this species north of Perth. This brought Nigel's “garden” list near Kildary, Ross-shire over the past 15 months to 291 species!

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

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